Friday, May 26, 2017

ZNN Reviews: The rare Byron Howard Serigraph!

Hello there!  I'm AgentExeider, and today I'm here to bring you the review of a very wonderful (and very exclusive) piece of artwork called “Summer in Zootopia” by Byron Howard! This is a limited edition of only 200 prints, each hand-signed and certified as genuine.

As of writing this they are still on sale from Cyclops Printworks, and you can order your own by following the link here!

Be warned- with a price tag of $200 for the print, along with the cost of a good frame and (if you really want to make sure it lasts) preservation treatment, this item can end up costing you between $300 - $500.  

That said, it's a print from BYRON HOWARD, signed by the man himself, that you get to keep forever!  In my opinion that's worth almost any price.

Check out the rest of my review after the break, along with a bit of background into what makes a Serigraph so special compared to other prints!

The print itself was made using Serigraph printing, and is hand signed by Byron Howard, the ink was spot varnished to keep it from running, bleeding or flaking. Though you still probably shouldn’t touch the ink regardless and should have it framed as soon as possible after getting it.

The serigraph itself is printed on Strongstuff 320 gsm (grams per square meter) paper. The 320 represents the “weight” of the paper and at 320 gsm, the paper is practically card stock.  It still folds and rolls unlike card stock, but it’s almost there. It has 23 brilliant colors (photographs shown do not do the print any justice, the colors are simply lush.) and is 24 inches by 18 inches. The printing itself done by Eclipse Workshop and the print is officially licensed by Disney.

At two feet wide and one and a half feet long, the print has a heavier and rougher feeling than you would normally expect from paper. The print comes rolled in a black protective paper and sealed into a thick cardboard tube for shipping, a large red and white eye and the words “Cyclops Printworks” on the side.

After opening the tube and unrolling the print, I was able to smell the ink which had an almost chalky scent to it, and it was powerful enough at first where I could almost taste the ink from the scent alone. After taking a few pictures, I dutifully placed the print back into the protective wrapping and tube and took it immediately to a framer.

Though this item is intended for the serious collector, I would still encourage any fan of Zootopia, Disney or even Byron Howard to get it if you can, because again, it IS limited edition and once they are gone, they’re gone.

What is Serigraphy?
Reading this article, you’ve probably said “What the heck is Serigraphy?” or “I’ve heard of Lithography, is it something like that?”

The short answer is no, these two printing techniques couldn’t be any more different if they tried. But allow this video to explain the difference, and perhaps give you an idea on what this unique form of printing is.

Serigraphy vs Lithography
The simplest way to explain Serigraphy is to look at how they print T-shirt designs, basically a stencil is made of the image you want to press, and the shirt is clamped down under a metal frame and stretched slightly. The stencil is inserted into the frame just above the shirt and ink is squeegeed down the length of the stencil and that color is applied through the gap in the stencil, sticking to the shirt’s fabric underneath, thus giving you your image.

Now because the Byron Howard serigraph was made with 23 colors, that means 23 stencils representing the different colors and regions were created and applied one at a time to give you the image that you see. Looking at any one stencil wouldn’t likely be recognizable as anything more than simple shapes.

When they created the prints, each piece of paper was aligned into a frame, and pressed down and stretched (much like a T-shirt). One at a time each stencil was placed into the top of the frame, and the appropriate ink color is added. That stencil is then removed and the next stencil added and the process repeats, 23 times total. Each set of colors and shapes adding together until you get a completed image.

How this differs from Lithographic printing is that in lithography, Ink is applied to a plate that has the whole image, then pressed into a cylinder with a rubber blanket wrapped around it, to transfer the ink and press out excess water, and that roller is applied to the paper along with a counter presser drum to help push against the back of the paper and quite literally press the ink into the paper and giving you your print.

Serigraphy in the past was referred as “Silk-screen” printing because the meshes (stencils) were made of silk fiber. However this method is no longer used as the silk is often destroyed in the printing process, but the term remains in the same way Kleenex or Q-tip is used to describe all facial tissues or cotton tipped ear cleaners respectively. Most meshes today are made using polyester, nylon or even steel mesh and hence the name has changed to a more generic, Serigraphy.

Final Verdict
To wrap things up, The Byron Howard Serigraph “Summer in Zootopia” is an amazing piece of art and for fans of Zootopia, would be an absolutely stunning addition to any collection. This print will easily become the center piece of your collection to enjoy for years to come, so get it while it lasts!

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